Juliette Sobanet’s Murder, Suspense, and Time-Travel Romance . . . in Paris!

Today I’d like to extend a warm K&T welcome to Juliette Sobanet, bestselling Montlake author of Parisian-inspired romantic suspense stories. And in celebration of her latest releases, Dancing with Paris and Midnight Train to Pariswe’re chatting about Paris, romance, time travel, and, of course, murder. I am also honored to say that Juliette is my critique partner and one of my dearest friends. (But before we start, I have to pour the cafe au lait and serve the French pastries!)

JS

JS: Thank you so much for having us on Kiss and Thrill!

SW (a little confused at the three beautiful women suddenly sitting in front of me eating my chocolate croissants): You brought friends?

JS: A funny thing happened on the way over here. Two of my heroines, Claudia and Jillian, heard you were serving pastries and just showed up!

SW (who didn’t need to eat three chocolate croissants anyway): Welcome, ladies. Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Sobanet FINAL-Dancing with ParisClaudia (sighing and looking bleary-eyed): I’m a marriage and family therapist from San Diego, and normally I’ve got it all together. But lately…not so much. I’m pregnant from a one-night stand, in love with a gorgeous French actor, and after a spill in my grandmother’s San Diego Dance studio, I woke up to find myself in a 1950s Parisian cabaret club. (And no, I haven’t lost my mind).

SW (slightly shocked): Wow.

JS: Well, if I had to time travel, 1950s Paris sounds pretty glamorous. What’s the problem?

Claudia (shrugging): Oh, I’ve got much bigger issues than the whole time travel debacle. When I woke up in the cabaret club, I was speaking fluent French, and I’m not me anymore. I’ve found myself in the voluptuous body of the star of the show—Ruby Kerrigan. Apparently, I was Ruby in my past life (still trying to wrap my head around all of this!), and it just so happens that Little Miss Ruby is under investigation for the murder of a fellow dancer. Apparently I have five days to figure out if Ruby (or rather, if I) actually committed the murder, or I’ll never make it back to my life in San Diego…or to my baby.

JS: I see why you’re a little freaked out about arriving in 1950s Paris! And I do hope you make it back to your baby–

Jillian (snorting): Stop whining, Claudia. At least you’re not on the brink of a World War.

SW (hoping to keep things peaceful): And who are you?

Sobanet_MidnightTrain_front_cvr_FINAL-1Jillian (nodding gracefully): Jillian Chambord from Midnight Train to ParisI’m a reporter for The Washington Daily, and I was just about to break the biggest story of my career when I found out that my twin sister was abducted from a luxury train traveling through the Alps. And as luck would have it, the lead investigator on the case is my ex…my smoldering, former CIA agent ex. Ugh.

Claudia (rolling her eyes): At least you haven’t time traveled to the past with no obvious way of making it back.

Jillian: Um…actually we have. As soon as we stepped on the midnight Orient Express train, something crazy happened, and we ended up in the middle of the Alps in 1937, on the same night that another mysterious train abduction took place. Now it looks as though we have to solve that crime before we have any hope of making it back to the present day and saving my sister.

JS: Looks as if you’re both in a pickle. Jillian, at least you haven’t traveled back in time to a past life, though.

SW: And it sounds as if Claudia may have it a bit worse.

Jillian: In the past twenty-four hours, I’ve had three people try to kill me. Please don’t tell me my situation isn’t serious.

Sobanet FINAL-Kissed in ParisSW (cringing): Sorry, Jillian.

JS: But you’re a tough reporter with kick-ass self-defense skills. And with that sexy investigator by your side, I think you can handle it.

Jillian (slamming down her coffee cup): I don’t want to talk about the sexy investigator.

Claudia (with one of those hidden smiles pregnant women are famous for): Sounds like you’re repressing some serious feelings for this man, Jillian. Are you still in love with him?

Jillian: Please don’t go all therapist on me, Claudia. Samuel and I are doing what we have to do to find these innocent women, my sister included, and once we’ve found them, we’ll part ways. That’s all there is to it.

Claudia: You’re stuck in the middle of the Alps with your gorgeous ex, and you’re telling me nothing is going to happen?

Jillian: Why don’t we turn the tables, Claudia? How about that mysterious French doctor who recently came to your aid? Why don’t you tell us more about him? Antoine is his name, correct?

Claudia (clears her throat): Um…yes, Antoine. He approached me on my first night at the club…and he happens to be the brother of the woman I’m being accused of murdering. Really not someone I should let myself fall for….but….

Jillian (glancing at Claudia’s still-flat stomach): Let me guess. He’s tall, handsome, with a super hot bod which you couldn’t possibly fall for? Because you would never do something like that.

Sobanet FINAL-Sleeping with ParisClaudia (blushing): I feel like I’ve known Antoine for my whole life, even though we’ve only just met. And there’s something about him that makes me all tingly and light-headed every time we talk. But I couldn’t possibly tell him the truth about who I really am, or that I’ve time-traveled here! He’ll have me committed.

SW (smiling): Sounds like true love, Claudia.

JS: If I’ve learned anything from creating the two of you, I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. Both of you—and your sexy men—gave me some serious problems (can we say re-writes anyone??) but I never gave up on you.

Jillian: Are you trying to say that you set us up in these impossible situations, Juliette?

419JaN5qbqLClaudia: And that you know how it’s all going to end?

JS (taking the last croissant): Before my characters try to kill me, I think we’d better call it a day! After all, Claudia and Jillian have murderers to catch, French pastries to eat, and sexy men to pursue.

Jillian: I’m in the middle of the French Alps in 1937. Where exactly am I going to find a pastry shop around here?

Claudia (smiling wide): The pastries in 1950s Paris are to die for.

Jillian: Oh, nice, Claudia. Rub it in, why don’t you?

JS: Ladies, ladies. You don’t have a lot of time to waste, remember? Now get back to your stories and keep my readers entertained!

SW: I agree! Juliette, can you please give us a short blurb for each story?

JS: Absolutely!

IMG_0511Dancing with Paris:

In Paris, a past life promises a second chance at love.

Straitlaced marriage therapist Claudia Davis had a plan—and it definitely did not involve getting pregnant from a one-night stand or falling for a gorgeous French actor. She thinks her life can’t possibly get more complicated. But when Claudia takes a tumble in her grandmother’s San Diego dance studio, she awakens in 1950s Paris in the body of Ruby Kerrigan, the glamorous star of a risqué cabaret—and the number-one suspect in the gruesome murder of a fellow dancer. As past lives go, it’s a doozy…especially when an encounter with a handsome and mysterious French doctor ignites a fire in Claudia’s sinfully beautiful new body.

But time, for all its twists and turns, is not on her side: Claudia has just five days to unmask the true killer, clear Ruby’s name, and return to the twenty-first century. To do so, she must make an impossible choice, one that will change the course of both of her lives forever.

IMG_0507Midnight Train to Paris:

When hard-hitting DC reporter Jillian Chambord learns that her twin sister, Isla, has been abducted from a luxury train traveling through the Alps, not even the threat of losing her coveted position at The Washington Daily can stop her from hopping on the next flight to France. Never mind the fact that Samuel Kelly—the sexy former CIA agent who Jillian has sworn off forever—has been assigned as the lead investigator in the case.

When Jillian and Samuel arrive in the Alps, they soon learn that their midnight train isn’t leading them to Isla, but has taken them back in time to 1937, to a night when another young woman was abducted from the same Orient Express train. Given a chance to save both women, Jillian and Samuel are unprepared for what they discover on the train that night, for the sparks that fly between them . . . and for what they’ll have to do to keep each other alive. Midnight Train to Paris is a magical and suspenseful exploration of just how far we will go to save the ones we love.

SW: Thank you so much, Juliette, for spending the day with us and for introducing us to Jillian and Claudia. And maybe next time we can meet Samuel and Antoine!

Now I’d like to ask our readers, if you had to time-travel to another city and time (with an incredibly sexy man, of course), where would you go?

And for two lucky commenters, Juliette is giving away one copy of Midnight Train to Paris and one copy of Dancing with Paris (Kindle or hard copy, depending on the winner’s preference)!  

IMG_1526Juliette Sobanet earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in France, living and studying in both Lyon and Paris. She worked as a French professor before turning a new page in her career, penning romantic women’s fiction with a French twist. She is the author of Sleeping with Paris, Kissed in Paris, Midnight Train to Paris, Dancing with Paris, and the upcoming novel Honeymoon in Paris. Today she lives with her husband and two cats in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing and dreaming about her next trip to France. You can find her on her website, Twitter, or Facebook.

All photos of Paris courtesy of Juliette Sobanet.

About Sharon Wray

Sharon is a three-time Daphne du Maurier winner and an eight-time RWA Golden Heart Romantic Suspense author repped by Deidre Knight and Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency. She writes the Deadly Force romantic suspense series for Sourcebooks Casablanca and her first book come out next year.

Posted on July 30, 2013, in Author Interview, Sharon Wray and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. What a fun interview Sharon! And nice to meet you Juliette, and your heroines. I adore time travel romances but confess the ones I’ve read are all medieval time travels (like from author Lynn Kurland). A time travel to Paris is a fresh twist to try. As for where (and when) I’d want to time travel if I could, I’d pick the future in the USA. But only because I’m practical. I’d be hopeful to pick up the cure for some diseases and bring the cure back with me to my current time period. Going to the past would frighten me. I want to keep my modern luxuries. LOL. With all your books using Paris as a setting, I’m curious whether you’ve received any reader mail from French readers? What did they have to say?

    • I have always loved time travel romances as well, Lena. But until Juliette started writing them, I honestly had no idea how hard they were to plot. So many details to remember and rules of the world to develop. It can get confusing really quickly.
      But she did a great job 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lena! I agree with you – time travel to the past is a little scary without all of our modern luxuries! Love the idea of going to the future and picking up a cure to bring back. To answer your question, I have received mail from French readers, and thankfully, they’ve really enjoyed the Paris books! I think it’s interesting for them to see an American’s take on life in Paris…and of course it’s always fun for me to travel to France and do research (which usually involves the impossible chore of eating buttery croissants and drinking amazing French wine!).

  2. What a fun way to introduce us to Juliette’s books! I have Midnight Train to Paris on my bookshelf. Might have to move it up the TBR pile a bit. 😉 I love Paris, and we were lucky enough to arrive on Bastille Day when we visited in 2010. Saw the fireworks over the Seine…

    As much as I love Europe, if I could time travel, I’d want to go back and see my grandparents when they were young. I heard so many stories growing up that I’d love to experience those times in their lives in person and really understand them.

  3. Welcome Juliette and characters!

    What a FUN blog and incredibly creative plot ideas! This is the kind of breakout thinking that goes straight to Hollywood…or HBO. I’m utterly serious, Juliette, I hope you or your agent is investigating this.

    Time travel fantasy…hmm. Something involved in being a hand maiden (meaning observer and ignored) in the era of Cleopatra or Katherine the Great. Naughty women…are the rumors true?

    • LOL!!! Considering some of the rumors, I don’t know if I’d want to see them if they were true. I’d get scared.

      But I would love to see their clothes. Were they really as elaborate and beautiful as the movies and portraits make them seem?

    • Thank you, Sarah! I think Claudia and Jillian would LOVE to go to Hollywood. I do have a film agent, and there’s been some interest in my first book…so we’ll see where it all leads. It would absolutely be a dream come true to see one of my stories on the big screen one day. Love your time travel fantasy by the way!

  4. What a fun interview, Sharon and welcome to K&T, Juliette! The books sound amazing!

    Hmmm… and where or when? That’s a difficult question. I think I’d choose to be with the Carter expedition in Egypt in 1922.

    Actually, this brings to mind a dinner party conversation from years ago, where we all listed events in history we wish we could have witnessed. What I remember from my list: the first performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

    • I can totally see you in Egypt in 1922 with the wide-brimmed straw hat covered with lace, a tight-fitted shirt-waist cotton dress, and a delicate layer of dust. Holding a shovel and an ancient map, of course. 🙂

      I would have loved to see Mozart in concert

      • LOL – “delicate layer of dust” – in the field we call it “permadirt” because it embeds in lines on your fingers and around your nails. Impossible to scrub off. Takes about a week post-fieldwork to disappear.

        Ah, yes. Mozart. I’d like to have been there too.

    • Thanks, Rachel! You have a great time travel ideas – love them all! If I could go back in time, I’d go to 1920s Paris…in fact we’re going there in my next book!

  5. Oo-la-la! How fun and unique! Juliette, I can’t wait to read more! Sharon, this interview, c’est magnifique!

  6. I’d definitely go to Italy……

  7. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there, but I really loved Paris. Two other romantic cities are Venice and Rome.

  8. Welcome Juliette! And congrats on your delicious books! Lovely interview, Sharon. No surprise there. I suppose I’d like to time travel with Scott Bakula a la Quantum Leap. You remember the show where he leaps into the recent past to right wrongs, stop killers, avert disasters and generally be hawt? That’d be fun.

  9. Manda Collins

    Wow, Juliette, your books sound AMAZING! These ladies are always turning me on to new authors:) Can’t wait to try yours!

    Now, on to the question. I suppose if I could time travel to any city I’d have to choose London during the Regency. Though with my luck I’d end up as a scullery maid or a seamstress;) I would love to know what it really felt like to be there, though. I write about it all the time, but that’s hardly the same.

    Good luck with your books! I’m definitely going to try one. I trust Sharon, who has awesome taste!

  10. I would go visit the city of Pompei and try to figure out more about what happened to all those people buried in the ruins there. Congratulations on finishing your latest mystery and writing words that live up to the scenes you imagine.

  11. Just stopping by to say hello! Juliette’s books are amazing. You will truly be transported to France!

  12. Ah, Juliette! How I would love to go to Paris and experience its delights firsthand. Sigh. Probably the only way I’ll visit Paris is through stories. But I’ll settle for that, gladly…and maybe I’ll be transported to Paris virtually! 🙂 I’m so glad I was introduced to you and your stories on togay’s blog. My daughter went to Paris for her honeymoon…and I have a print on my wall that she brought back for me to frame. Everything I hear about it is so romantic! jdh2690@gmail.com

    • I would go in a Paris second…with my hubby, my very own hero and Romeo!

    • Hi JDH! Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m more than happy to take you on a virtual trip to Paris through my books 🙂 How wonderful that your daughter went to Paris on her honeymoon! Couldn’t imagine a more romantic place. Maybe someday you will get to go with your hubby!

  13. Fun interview! Looking forward to reading the new book!

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